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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy comes to IU's Brown County Playhouse

WHAT: Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry, directed by Dale McFadden
WHEN: Opens Friday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m., with additional performances Sept. 26, October 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24 at 8 p.m.; Sept. 27, Oct. 3-4, 10-11, 18, and 24-25 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: All performances take place at the Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren, Nashville, Indiana. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted during performances.
TICKETS: $20 regular admission and $12 for children and students. Flex Vouchers, four ticket vouchers for the price of three: $48-$60. For ticket information, group rates, or to order flex vouchers call the IU Auditorium at 812-855-1103 or Brown County Playhouse at 812-988-2123, or get details and buy online at

Sept. 9, 2009

Nashville, Ind. -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Driving Miss Daisy concludes the 61st season of Indiana University's Brown County Playhouse. The performance features two of the Midwest's best-known actors in the main roles.

Racism and separate ethnic communities are still the norm in post World War II Georgia. Daisy, a 72-year-old Jewish widow resides in Atlanta. After she crashes her car, Daisy's son hires an African American chauffer, Hoke, to drive and look after her. Their prickly relationship faces many challenges during their 25 years of driving through America's tumultuous history, ultimately evolving into true friendship.

"The audience has the opportunity to see two quite opposite people take a journey from knowing each other as opposites to knowing each other as similar people with much in common," said director Dale McFadden, a professor of acting and directing in IU's Department of Theatre and Drama and director of undergraduate studies for the department.

Uhry's American masterpiece won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Outer Critics Circle Award. A 1989 movie version won four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Jessica Tandy.

Ansley Valentine

Ansley Valentine

Print-Quality Photo

Daisy is played by Martha Jacobs and Ansley Valentine will play Hoke. Rounding out the cast is Matthew Buffalo (last seen in Present Laughter) as Boolie.

Martha Jacobs last appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest at Brown County Playhouse. She also has performed at Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Edinburgh Festival (Scotland) and Café LaMama.

Ansley Valentine, an MFA alumus from IU, is now the director of theater at Kent State-Stark campus. He previously appeared in The Boys Next Door at the Brown County Playhouse.

"The play is filled with humor, compassion and poignant insight as a black man takes on the job of chauffeuring an older Jewish woman around Atlanta. They each end up having the ride of their life," McFadden said.

The creative team consists of scenic designer Chris Berg (How the Other Half Loves), costume designer Linda Pisano (Present Laughter), lighting designer Marie Shakespeare (Present Laughter) and sound designer David Krueger.

McFadden said that the personal story parallels the social story in America. "We are hopefully coming closer to knowing people different from ourselves," he said.